Patients 65 and older account for 88 percent of all skin tears, according to a study of 2,807 patients by the Patient Safety Authority of Pennsylvania.
Skin tears increase with age; the largest proportion of skin tears concern patients ages 75 to 84.
Some patient characteristics that make a patient’s skin more fragile and susceptible to tears include: advanced age, malnourishment, vision/sensation/hearing loss, mental impairment, immobility, dry skin, agitation or restlessness.
The Patient Safety Authority will issue a Skin Tears Toolkit to advise health care workers and caregivers on changes that can prevent these injuries from occurring.
For a full copy of the report, visit www.psa.state.pa.us.